7-day healthy meal plan for teens

Teenage years can be a turning point in our relationship with food. It’s quite often as a teen that people begin to (hopefully) cook for themselves, and so establishing healthy eating patterns now is a great way to improve long-term wellbeing.

Getting into the kitchen and learning to cook is, in my opinion, one of the best things we can do for our health.

But let’s face it: we all lead busy lives, that’s why simplicity is key. Regardless of whether the cooking is done by teens between school and study, or whether parents are still juggling kitchen duty on top of work commitments—perhaps it’s a bit of both—it was essential for me that this seven-day meal plan would be easy to follow.

You’ll notice in many cases that leftovers from dinner one night are transformed into an entirely new dish for lunch the next day. Breakfasts can also often be whipped up the night before, or at most will take 10 to 15 minutes to throw together, so there’s no excuse to skip the first meal of the day.

Of course, there are plenty of fussy teens out there, which is why my plan is peppered with healthy twists on recognisable favourites. Burgers, taco bowls, nachos, and even pizza sit alongside simple soups, smoothies, and salads.

Lastly, healthy food should be delicious. So read on, get cooking, and enjoy!

Monday’s Menu

Breakfast: ‘Apple Pie’ Porridge

Lunch: Ginger Chicken Bento Box

Dinner: Beetroot & Bean Burgers — with hummus and harissa

Tuesday’s Menu

Breakfast: Quick Brekkie Wrap

Lunch: Bean Burger Wraps — with tzatziki and dill

Dinner: Crispy Chicken Taco Bowl

Wednesday’s Menu

Breakfast: ‘PB & J’ Smoothie

Lunch: Chicken Fingers — with sweet potato wedges and smoky tomato dipping sauce

Dinner: Veggie-Packed Shepherd’s Pie

Thursday’s Menu

Breakfast: Choc-Blueberry Overnight Oats

Lunch: Easy Tuna Salad

Dinner: Peri-peri Chicken — with sweet potato wedges

Friday’s Menu

Breakfast: ’Raspberry Ripe’ Smoothie

Lunch: Shredded Chicken Wraps — with homemade slaw and chilli yoghurt

Dinner: Nourishing Nachos

Saturday’s Menu

Breakfast: Homemade Baked Beans — with toast and a fried egg

Lunch: Hearty Butternut, Kale, and Chickpea Soup

Dinner: ‘Spaghetti’ and Turkey Meatballs

Sunday’s Menu

Breakfast: Healthy-ish Banana Bread

Lunch: Turkey, Sweetcorn, and Buckwheat Noodle Soup

Dinner: The Perfect Cauliflower Pizza

The Shopping List

Meat and Poultry

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 1kg low-fat beef mince
  • 600g skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 250g skinless chicken thighs

Dairy & Eggs

  • 1 dozen large free-range eggs
  • 2x 1kg tubs plain Greek yoghurt
  • 1L full cream milk, or alternative
  • 1 block (approx. 200g) feta
  • 1 block (approx. 250g) halloumi
  • 1 small pack (approx. 400g) shredded mozzarella, cheddar, or blend

Fresh Fruit, Vegetables, and Herbs

  • 2 pink lady apples
  • 4 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 4 bananas (large, ripe)
  • 2 red capsicums
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 baby cos lettuce
  • 4 radishes
  • 2 beetroot
  • 16 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 2 cobs corn
  • 1 large sweet potato, golden
  • 2 large cauliflower heads
  • 5 small zucchinis
  • 1 small butternut pumpkin
  • ¼ purple cabbage
  • bunch kale (cavolo nero if available)
  • 4 bulbs garlic
  • 5 red onions
  • 3 brown onions
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 golden shallot
  • 3 avocados
  • 300g baby spinach
  • 1 piece fresh ginger
  • 2 fresh jalapenos
  • 1 long, red chilli
  • 30g bird’s eye chillis
  • 3 bunches flat-leaf parsley
  • bunch each of basil, lemon thyme, coriander, and dill

Frozen Goods

  • 1 bag (approx. 500g) frozen peas
  • 1 bag (approx. 500g) frozen raspberries
  • 1 bag (approx. 500g) frozen blueberries

Tinned and Packaged Products

  • 250g tuna slices, in chilli oil
  • 800g tinned red kidney beans
  • 800g tinned cannellini beans
  • 800g tinned black beans
  • 400g tinned borlotti beans
  • 400g tinned chickpeas
  • 600g tinned tomatoes
  • 1 bag (approx. 1kg) rolled oats
  • 100g buckwheat noodles
  • 1 bag (approx. 500g) buckwheat flour
  • 500g almond meal
  • 1 small pack flaked almonds
  • 1 small pack raw pecans or walnuts
  • 1 small pack toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 small pack dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • 1 small pack pickled ginger
  • 2L good quality chicken stock
  • 500ml salt-reduced beef stock
  • 280g tomato paste
  • 1 tub hummus
  • 1 jar harissa paste
  • 1 jar Kalamata olives, seeded
  • 1L coconut water

Bakery

  • 6 large wholegrain or gluten-free wraps
  • 4 whole grain or gluten-free burger buns
  • 4 large wholemeal tortillas

Pantry Staples — you may already have these at home!

  • Brown rice
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Light soy sauce
  • Honey
  • Natural peanut butter
  • Vanilla essence
  • Baking powder
  • Psyllium Husk
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Herbs & spices: bay leaves, cayenne, chilli flakes, cinnamon, coriander seeds, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano.

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